Tis the Season…. to be 40 #thegallery

Thinking of the Gallery theme for this week didn’t bring to mind the yearly season changes for me, rather with my brain fixated on last weekend it reminded me of how in years past my birthday always signified the start of the festive season of sorts.

I’d celebrate my birthday, then Guy Fawkes, by which time the shops are brimming with goodies to eat and drink on the month long diet crisis that has become Christmas, there is the shopping and the parties (not so many now sadly) the ferrying around to the various outreaches of the family to make sure everyone gets their gifts.  Then the day itself cramming in booze rich food and Triv. Boxing day slumber, smoked salmon and scrambled egg, a walk somewhere in the chilled air, New Years Eve and more booze followed by a bleary start to the new year.

Some of this still happens, other bits have lessened, we now have the nursery party and a nativity to enjoy, the Santa Train is a highlight for me, this will be our third year in a row (I’m so excited!)

Christmas with the smalls is a sheer enjoyment that I revel in much more than booze and rich food and it all starts with November the 1st, so I thought I would share with you the photo’s from Saturday night. (Because it’s my blog and I can…  LOL!)

As always, don’t forget to pop over to Sticky Fingers for some much more sensible entries….


13 days…

Only 13 days left of my thirties and I don’t think I mind any longer.

When I turned 30, I spend ages looking in the mirror trying to see the woman I thought I knew inside, I really didn’t recognise myself and of course I found that alarming and disconcerting.  This week I have been looking in the mirror and I can see a new me, older, yes of course but it is a me I can recognise and relate to.

Perhaps it is the weight loss that has helped, I’m back at my pre pregnancy weight, which is good but I was a bit chubby back then too so there is still a way to go.  I have managed to put my wedding and engagement rings back on, my finger is still a little pudgy but they are on and that makes me happier.

I lost another lb this week for all the excess at the weekend, 1lb a week is slower than I hoped to loose weight but is that really important as long as it is coming off slowly and staying off?  I’m 12lb away from my first weight target of 12st 7lb and that is really very cool 😀 Perhaps as a thyroid sufferer this is all I can expect to loose per week.

Things are hotting up for my birthday, Daddy still doesn’t know if he is allowed the day off so I’m going ahead with my plan of dropping the smalls off at nursery, having a manicure and then going shopping in Bath for a glam outfit for my night out on the 6th.  I had hoped to spend a few hours at the Thermae spa, it’s looking unlikely, perhaps if I get any birthday money I may indulge myself.  I do intend to enjoy a very strong coffee with a large cake somewhere I can watch the world go by.

I’m still in the dark about the plans for my birthday and the control freak in me is not best happy with this, I am of the opinion however, that if one is lucky enough to have a special friend who will go out of their way to make something good happen for you then you are a really lucky so and so and should slap the control freak down and go with the flow.

Bring it on….

10 things that make me HAPPY!

I was tagged for this meme by Susie of Newdaynewlesson she has done it 3 times so I’m guessing it’s been around a while, so I have been trying to think what makes me happy besides the smalls, the husband, the cats, vinegar with lashings of chips and chocolate and I’m not really that surprised to find out that the thing that makes me happy in a variety of forms is WATER!

Hot showers:- Standing in the shower cubical with a steaming hot torrent of water beating down on my head and shoulders is like a small corner of heaven, I can almost forget that the smalls are usually tearing up her bedroom or ignore the crys of anguish as he gets a toy she wants or vice versa.

The Sea:- Some of my happiest memories involve the sea, I love the beach in spring and autumn when it is warm but not hot and fairly empty, jumping away from the waves and splashing is such good fun.  The sound of the waves is so restful as they lap back and forth.  Body boarding is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. I’m sure surfing is too although I have never been able to stand up myself.   The sea can be so romantic, sitting on the beach watching the sun go down below the horizon, she is a seductive mistress as she can also be so dangerous, it is also a mysterious place worthy of investigation which leads me to…

Scuba diving:- I obtained my PADI open water in Looe, Cornwall in my twenties, sadly I never kept it up but it’s on the list to revisit.  It was a very happy time for me. Two girl friends and I rented a caravan on a park for a week and did our open water on the seafront in Looe, it was a great experience.  My most striking memory was the way the freshwater of the estuary mixed with the salt water of the sea creating patterns and distortion, beautiful.

Rain:-  There is nothing quite so cleansing as the rain, the way the world smells after it has rained all fresh and somehow green is very special. Shutting my eyes and breathing the scent fills me with a centered contentment, it talks to my soul somewhere in the part of me that is still a cavegirl 🙂

Swimming:- Total suspension in water is a really great feeling too, not quite weightless but somehow supported as you push against it and feel it rushing about your limbs, a fabulous way to stretch and work out.

Hot tub:- This is my escape after a long day of smalldom I often feel like I’m sneaking off to the garden to chill out in the bubbles, of course the smalls often do get to go in too, it’s great to see their faces as they play and splash or mess about with balls.  Daddy and I get to talk in the tub, better then anywhere else because there is no TV or laptop, nothing to detract from the conversation – it’s a place to catch up and make sense of stuff, to plan and to dream.

Steam room:- You can keep your saunas the steam room is the place for me and the ultimate in steam rooms is at Bath Thermae Spa
Each steam room is made of glass and has a different essential oil, my favourite is the jasmine and lavender, so restful and the mountain pine is really invigorating – almost cold somehow, there is a waterfall in the middle of the room which will make you feel washed away with force in seconds – it’s paradise on earth. I took Daddy to the spa for his 40th birthday, we had a great time.

Koi pond:- A lot of effort went into creating our Koi pond, it is kidney shaped and 5ft 8inches deep, Daddy designed dug and constructed the pond and filters himself, there is a smaller pond to the left for goldfish, lillies and frogs. The pond has made our garden a happy place to sit and watch the children play, the sound of the water bubbling and the fish splashing are very relaxing, we are very pleased with it. The neighbours were very pleased to see me out and about after all that digging ;-D

Snow:- As Lola would say “Snow is my favourite and my best” Going on a skiing holiday makes me very happy indeed, there is nothing like a wide piste with freshly fallen powder. You push off and ski through marshmallow snow and it makes a swoooosh swooosh sound as you glide down the hill. We had a stunning fortnight in Copper Mountain, CO before the smalls arrived, I think they will be big enough next year for all of us to go – start saving!

Ice:- Ice really is so very civilized, the lovely clink clink noise it makes as it drops into a glass or the plop as it drops into a Baileys.

So there you have it, 10 reasons water makes me feel happy. Now the hard bit, I have to nominate others to do the meme – I’m really sorry if you have done it before…

Yummy Mummy No.1
Mummy musings
It’s all good if you can laugh
Marianneparis of Paris-Ankara Express
Utterly Scrummy
Little green fingers

All of whom I think will have interesting things to say on the subject of happy….

Photo Credits
Bath Thermae Spa – Steam room

Sink or Swim? No Wallow!

This is my first prompted blog – thanks to Susie at the Kindness Club for reminding us we all need me time.

I once told my Mother ” we have a great life style, it would be great to share that with a child”  she smiled at me but didn’t say anything, of course what she should have said was “you can kiss that great lifestyle goodbye once you have less income and a baby to look after!” I would never have believed her though, I don’t think anyone really grasps the impact a child makes on your life.  Of course it’s all worth it, they are fabulous but they do encroach on your “me” time somewhat and for the first 3 years (or so) at the end of the day you are too seriously tired to want to do anything but sleep.  Without a constant supply of babysitters near by you are tied to your little darlings every one of their waking moments no matter when that might be…

So what was that me time of old?

In my twenties I had a hectic social life, I worked in hotels and socialized with the staff at any available hour off shift, I lodged with some great people my age and there was lots of going out and about, I took up skydiving for a few years which tied up many weekends camping at the DZ and that is where I met my husband.  Once we moved in together things did slow down of course, we were in a new town and I was commuting to work, he would go out every Thursday night and I would have a quiet night with an indulgent curry and a chick flick.

I loved books, demolishing my way through 2 or 3 a week barely able to exist without some story of sci fantasy or passion winding it way through my brain, baby brain put paid to that, although I am pleased to say that I have recently experience a resurgence in the reading department.

I used to cross stitch too, that started on the DZ waiting for the wind to drop or the clouds to raise enough to jump, there are after all only so many parachutes that need packing at any one time.

I have never been a beauty salon babe, I love saunas, steam rooms and swimming, Bath Thermea Spa is paradise on earth for me and yet in my pre children life when I had the free time I didn’t  indulge that often, I had no need.

We bought our hot tub when we were DINKY’s, It was one of those things that we really wanted but normally would never have justified but my husband had a small lottery win and we thought why not… Thing is with the rise of Electricity costs and the reduction in available time we invariably shut it down from November to April every year even though it’s a really pleasant experience to be outside in the hot tub in the cold, especially surrounded by snow…

So the me time of now? That would be anytime spent without any noise or worry, rare indeed!

Last weekend, whilst constructing my new vegetable boxes for our “where does my food come from” garden the husband said “Why don’t you fire up the tub?”  I didn’t need to be told twice.  Little Miss and I washed it out and filled it up.

The tub takes 24hrs to heat up to 37 degrees, which is about time the chlorine takes to wear off from the first “flash” then you have to balance the ph so it’s safe, we usually use bromide when the smalls are getting in too.  So it wasn’t until Monday night it was ready and by then I’d forgotten about it – dafty!

Tuesday, little miss and I had a good splash in the afternoon whilst Daddy was back at his boxes and little man was asleep, later that night Daddy and I had a relaxing soak together once the smalls were in bed.  It is sooo good for a marriage to have some time together where you can’t watch mindless car programs, you are not stuck with your head in the lap top tweeting or blogging and there are no smalls demanding attention, in the tub we have to sit and read, sit and talk or sit and do the stuff married couple forget to do once they are not courting anymore ;-P

In the interest of Susie’s Kindness club I have made sure that I have chilled out in the hot tub every night this week, either with himself or just me and a book, no other reason you understand…. And it’s been REALLY hard to do, (not).

Thanks Susie!